Being a new parent is exhausting, but what if I told you there was a new device that could make it even more complicated and stressful… Wait, what?
Meet the Raybaby, the first ever non-contact sleep and breathing tracker. Basically its a baby monitor that also measures a childs vitals, breathing rates and sleeping habits and then feeds all that information into an app through which you can obsess about your precious offspring’s every twitch.
This is not the first monitor to track breathing, though it is the first to do it without needing to attach a battery-operated sensor to the baby. It relies on essentially the same technology that ultrasounds use to detect your childs movements. They promise it tracks breathing with a 98 percent accuracy rate, but there are a zillion situations that could trip this thing up and wake you in a needless panic.
The Raybaby launched on Kickstarter (where you can get one now for $149 for shipment in September), and was created by graduates of hardware accelerator HAX with support from Johnson & Johnson. It promises to bring some much needed sanity into the lives of parents, and the team behind it no doubt had good intentions.
Its major selling point is, of course, that it promises to tell you if your child stops breathing every parent’s recurring nightmare. But it also offers alerts for a host of other occasions that are far less dramatic. Like itll send you a notification on your phone if your baby has a fever. (Sort of useful?) Or when your baby is awake. Hmm, do you need that? No.
Its worth remembering that babies have their own built-in technology for telling you theyre awake or need need your attention its called screaming. And if your baby stirs before you do and is just happily hanging out, you certainly dont want an alert to wake you up needlessly.
If that’s not enough for you, it’ll also take pictures and videos of your child in their crib, which it will then collect into a collage. (As if the 90,000 photos you’ve snapped on your phone are not sufficient.) The company even suggests you post these bed-related memories on social media, but here’s a tip from your followers, we’re good.
The app that accompanies the monitor is a treasure trove of TMI about your baby. It contains a detailed log of your babys vital signs, sleep patterns, and other behaviors. It will tell you the babys current status (again, see: screaming) and give you AI-based advice on sleep training. It will even send you an alert when your beloved bundle of joy rolls over. Hope youre okay with never sleeping again because babies roll around A LOT.
Seriously though. Babies are designed to warn you when something is wrong. Yes, its great to have a sense of the hours your child is sleeping and when theyre eating, etc. But this app collects so much data, most of it very unnecessary for taking care of a healthy little one.
But I need to know whether my baby is breathing! you may say. Heres the answer: your child is almost certainly breathing! If your kiddo has a health issue and is at special risk for not breathing, your doctor will tell you. You will be given special equipment, and you will deal with it as best you can. But the vast majority of babies are just fine.
Parenting is a journey filled with a constant anxiety and vigilance, but having endless data at your fingertips does nothing to ease that. As long as youre keeping an eye on them and youve taken all the recommended precautions to keep them safe, you’ve done what you can.
No amount of snazzy gizmos tracking their every move will shut off the little worry generator nature installs in your brain the moment your child arrives. You’ll just be extra on-edge because your phone will be pinging your brain with constant alerts and, even worse, false alarms.
And even if you have a fancy monitor tracking their every move, you will still sneak into your child’s room risking waking them and ruining your entire night just to see the gentle rise and fall of their tiny chest with your own tired eyes.
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